Ravine du Hope to Pic Paradis

I started early, in an attempt to avoid the worst heat of the day, and set out on the road behind Hope Estate. The road itself was gruelling – sunny and steep, but it took only about an hour to get from Hope Estate to the beginning of the ravine that runs up Mont France. Where the ravine meets the road, there is an interesting stone structure, roughly in the shape of a circle. Heading up the ravine it was much cooler in the dense forest. It must be the season of the black witch, because these large moths seemed to emerge from their hiding places every dozen yards or so. There were also many adorable little snails with round (rather than conical) shells. The only ominous omen was a gunshot I heard as I began to head up the ravine.

Towards the top of the mountain, more light was breaking through the trees and patches of meadow appeared. The ravine gradually disappeared and I followed the trail markings. At some point, I’m not sure when, I must have reached the northeast crest trail, because eventually I came out onto a road. A few yards down was a marking for Petit Fond, which was another trail that runs a circle from Colombier to Pic Paradis. There I made the mistake of entering an abandoned information kiosk where I was promptly stung in the sideburn by a wasp. A few hundred yards from there was the top of Pic Paradis, where I took a few photos, saw what appeared to be a polydamas swallowtail, and headed back home via the road.

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